As reported earlier, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council has proposed amendments to the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to specifically address national origin protections.
The draft regulations discuss the type of acts that may constitute national origin discrimination (see Initial Statement of Reasons). The regulations also discuss prohibited immigration-related practices.
California already has strict rules that prohibit harassment and discrimination based on protected classes, including national origin. A California Chamber of Commerce-led coalition submitted comments arguing that some of the new proposals are too broad.
The proposed regulations include the following:
- Expanded definition of national origin to include anyone who is a member of or in association with a group, school, temple or other institutions generally associated with a national group.
- Revision and expansion of rules relating to language restrictions in the workplace.
- Explanation of rules relating to accent discrimination.
- Rules relating to height and weight requirements as they may lead to national origin discrimination. Employers may still assert any permissible defense.
- Immigration-related protections, such as prohibition against threatening to contact immigration authorities because an employee complained about unlawful practices. These protections already exist in the Labor Code.
- Rules relating to recruitment and job segregation.
The Council has made further modifications to the proposed regulations and is seeking additional written comments. Visit the Council’s website for more information, including the text of the proposed regulations.
Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. September 27, 2017.
Written comments can also be mailed to:
Fair Employment and Housing Council
c/o Brian Sperber, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel
Department of Fair Employment and Housing
320 West 4th Street, 10th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90013